Thanksgiving, Day 12: Health

Turn back, my Martian friends! There is only death here!

Ironically, as I write this I’m coming down with a cold. It’s the scratchy throat, thirst all the time, snuffling and dripping type of cold, complete with a slow, continuous headache and a firm, unwavering desire to just go back to bed.

Annoying, yes. Inconvenient, sure. But at least I can be reasonably sure that, unlike people in some other time and place, it won’t kill me. I may have a cold. Bt I also have access to medicine, to proper medical care, should it become necessary, and a job where I can take time off to rest and recuperate. That alone is something to be thankful for.

Beyond that, though, I have to admit that my health has been pretty good despite my consistent lack of attention to it (up until recently, anyway). Whenever I take a checkup, there’s this long list of conditions and complications they want to know about, and I don’t have to check any of them. I have friends and relatives who have the misfortune to have their bodies turn against them – asthma, cancer, diabetes, neurological disorders, mental health issues…

By and large, though, I seem to be doing okay. My health issues are seasonal or occasional, and rarely debilitating enough to merit anything more than a couple of days off work. I don’t know what to attribute this to – good genetics, perhaps, or avoiding an egregiously unhealthy lifestyle maybe. Whatever it is, it seems to be working.

Behold. My future.

I quit smoking back in aught-three, so I’m sure that helped. If you’re wondering if you should quit, by the way, the answer is an unqualified “YES.” It may not turn your life around, but it will certainly stop making it worse.

I rarely drink alcohol, either. Not because of any moral or health reason, but because I just don’t feel like it. If I go out, I might have a couple of beers, but I don’t go out that often. Even when I do, my days of drinking myself stupid ended years ago. At some point, my self-regulation systems kick in and say, “Nope. You’re done.” Anything after that, and I suspect that my pleasant night of inebriation is about to go horribly wrong. And no one wants that.

I don’t have a sweet tooth, and don’t drink colas. I’m a fan of vegetables in my cooking. I live in a place that requires I walk a lot and have a job where I have to stand. All told, my lifestyle isn’t inherently unhealthy, and that helps.

What I know, of course, is that this streak is going to continue, I’m going to have to pay more attention to the meat puppet than I have up until now. After all, one should not casually throw away things for which you are thankful.

That said… Anyone up for pizza?

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